Uganda has some of Africa’s best places to celebrate Christmas and New Year. Christmas and New Year are among the most popular holidays in Uganda. Kampala, the capital city, is the best place to celebrate these holidays. The city has a variety of attractions and activities to keep visitors entertained. Places to visit during these holidays include the Uganda Museum, National Theatre, and Mulago National Park.
There are also a number of restaurants and bars that offer festive menus and special events. For those looking for a more traditional experience, there are a number of villages that offer Christmas and New Year celebrations. These villages usually have markets selling local goods and traditional dance and music performances. Uganda is sure to offer an unforgettable holiday experience whichever option you choose.
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How do They Celebrate Christmas in Uganda?
Christmas in Uganda is characterized by a vibrant atmosphere and festivities throughout the days leading up to Christmas Day. Preparations start as early as mid-December, with people shopping for gifts, decorating their homes, preparing festive foods and drinks, and taking part in church services.
Christmas is a family day in Uganda like it is in many other parts of the world. Families living in different cities often travel back to their village homes to celebrate together.
On Christmas Eve, many churches have special candlelit ceremonies that involve singing carols and exchanging gifts. On Christmas Day, families usually gather for a large feast and exchange presents, while some like to spend the day at home with their families.
How Does Uganda Celebrate New Year?
Christmas is over, and it’s time to get back to the city for New Year. Even though New Year is more of a party or all-night event, many families choose to celebrate together. The best part about this holiday? The fireworks, of course! New Year in Uganda is celebrated with great enthusiasm and fanfare. The displays are usually put on by bigger hotels and churches that are private institutions. If you want to be closer to the action but can’t afford fireworks, people burn tires or conifer trees instead. It’s always a celebration with most people staying up to see midnight pass.
Kampala City comes alive as people fill up the streets to celebrate the occasion with music, dance, fireworks, and a lot of fun. People also watch spectacular live shows at major venues in the city and share their wishes for a better year ahead.
Christmas vacation in Uganda is a fun time filled with excitement, festivities, and beautiful memories. Here are our top picks for Places To Celebrate Christmas and New Year in Uganda:
1. Brovad Sands Lodge, Kalangala – Ssese Islands
Located in the pristine tropical Bugala island, one of the archipelagos of Ssese, Brovad Sands Lodge is an ideal place to stay, especially if you are looking for a calm and serene atmosphere on Christmas. The island is surrounded by beautiful sandy beaches and offers plenty of watersport activities such as swimming, snorkelling, fishing, kayaking, and more.
2. Nile River Cruise
For an unforgettable adventure this Christmas season, take a cruise on the longest river in Africa, the Nile River. Enjoy stunning scenery, lush greenery, and spectacular sunsets. Get a chance to explore the beautiful cities along its banks, like Jinja and Kampala, as you cruise your way through Uganda’s magnificent riverside gems.
3. Nature’s Green Beach Resort – Kaazi
This new, eco-friendly resort is located in the most beautiful and secluded lakeside environment, with plenty of birds whispering from the trees. This truly magical place is perfect for a family Christmas holiday in Uganda at unbeatably affordable rates. The beach resort has a private beach that’s exclusive to residents, as well as spacious gardens. Enjoy indoor games, beach games, kids playground ESPN entertainment channels on big screen TVs at night bonfires.
You can also listen to relaxing music piped throughout common areas, such as local bars and world-class restaurants serving both African flavours and international cuisine buffet-style meals. Attend tea dance party Friday nights under starlit Ugandan skies! Nature’s Green Beach Resort is conveniently located in Kaazi Busabala, minutes away from Munyonyo Resort and just 25 minutes drive via the Southern By-pass Expressway Entebbe Airport
4. Lakeside Escape – Mukono
From this amazing property, the views of Lake Victoria are splendid. Situated on the shores of Lake Victoria in Mukono, Lakeside Escape is Uganda’s best family-friendly lakeside resort. Christmas at Lakeside Escape is so much fun with entertainment, delicious meals, movie night, swimming pools, indoor and outdoor games. Getting to Lakeside escape is easier by boat through KK Beach Ggaba with the resort’s complimentary shuttle service or drive through Mukono following our provided directions.
5. Mweya Safari Lodge, Queen Elizabeth National Park
Located in the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park, Mweya Safari Lodge offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Christmas. The lodge is set on a peninsula overlooking the Kazinga Channel and Lake Edward and surrounded by verdant hills swathed in an ancient rainforest and grassland savannah. Enjoy the game drives, boat cruises, bird watching, chimpanzee tracking, and cultural walks. Mweya Safari Lodge is a perfect blend of nature and luxury with comfortable accommodations, delicious meals African-inspired décor!
6. Malakai Eco Lodge – Kitende
Malakai Eco Lodge is a hidden piece of heaven located in Kitende, near Kampala and Entebbe. It’s the perfect place to get away from it all and enjoy nature at its finest. The lodge has been featured in many music videos due to its stunning scenery. Christmas time here is extra special, with kids’ games, indoor games, entertainment, and delicious meals. And the rooms are super cozy too!
7. Elephant Plains Lodge – Queen Elizabeth National Park
Christmas is a time to let loose and has some fun. And what better place to do that than Elephant Plains Lodge? This luxurious lodge provides the best family-friendly experience that will stay in your memories for years. With panoramic views stretching for miles over huge open grasslands, you won’t be disappointed. The Lodge is nestled next to Kikorongo Lake, where the plains merge into crystal waters – not to mention that many elephants often visit here looking for a drink!
8. Paraa Safari Lodge, Murchison Falls National Park
The Paraa Safari Lodge, located near the Nile River, is perfect for anyone spending a few nights on a Christmas holiday in Uganda. The elevated position offers stunning views of the flowing Nile River, the dense savannah woodland to the south in Murchison Falls National Park, and extensive open savannah grassland dotted with African wildlife to the north. Paraa Safari Lodge offers luxury accommodations and world-class facilities, including a large swimming pool that is perfect for cooling off in the hot conditions of Murchison Falls National Park. Relaxing in the soothing pool waters after a morning game drive is an incredible experience. Plus, the lodge is home to some of the finest African cuisine in Uganda.
These places are just some of the amazing destinations you can visit for a holiday or Christmas celebration in Uganda. From luxury lodges and eco-friendly resorts to an authentic safari experience at Murchison Falls National Park, there are plenty of options to choose from. A Christmas holiday in Uganda will be one to remember!